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Current Health Alerts

Current Health Alerts

Whitman County  



Wildfire Smoke and Air Quality

Air quality continues to be impacted locally by the statewide and regional wildfires. Local air pollution levels have drastically increased, with air quality now categorized in the "unhealthy" range. These levels are expected to remain for several days. Officials from Whitman County Public Health are urging residents to take precautions to protect their health.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington until further notice (http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air quality alert) :

additional information


Whitman County  



How to Stay Safe in Hot Weather

With forecasted high temperatures in the mid-90s to triple digits it is important to remember the following guidance on keeping safe:

Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.

Drink plenty of (alcohol free) fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.

Schedule outdoor activities carefully.

Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.

Pace yourself.

Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.

Do not leave children or pets in cars.

Check the local news for health and safety updates.

For more information visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/extremeheat/index.html

Washington State Dept. of Health   06/04/2013   Hepatitis A: national outbreak linked to frozen berry product sold at Costco

Washington State Department of Health issued a press release concerning the current Hepatitis A outbreak on 06/04/2013. To view this press release please click here...

Whitman County   11/18/2013   Pertussis Alert

This notification is to alert local health care providers that seven (7) cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have been confirmed in Whitman County since September.  The schools and daycare facilities for these families have been notified and appropriate action taken to minimize further exposures.  We hope local health care providers will maintain a high level of suspicion for possible pertussis. For further information please refer to the CDC Pertussis web site at http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html

Parents and students, please be aware that at least two students at Pullman High have tested positive for whooping cough in the last two weeks.   This is now considered an outbreak.  Anyone who is suffering from a cough, particularly for more than a week should stay home from school and be evaluated by their doctor prior to returning.   Generally whooping cough can be treated by a simple course of antibiotics while remaining at home.   Once treated the cough will typically remain for several weeks but is not considered contagious.  Anyone with chronic respiratory disease such as asthma, anyone immunocompromised, unvaccinated, less than one year of age, or has other chronic disease is at risk of complications from this infection.  Infants are at particularly high risk for respiratory distress or failure and extreme caution should be taken to protect this population from exposure.  If you are evaluated and treated for whooping cough please work with the Whitman County Health Department to identify any individuals at high risk of complications to enable swift evaluation and treatment.  Vaccination is still the best means of protecting an individual from the illness.  For specific vaccination guidelines please refer to the CDC pertussis website or consult with your physician. 

Additional information is available from the Washington State Department of Health


Whitman County   01/25/2013   Flu Update

While Influenza has been confirmed in Whitman County, no epidemic has been declared. Individuals over the age of 6 months are advised to get a flu vaccine in order to protect themselves. Anyone experiencing flu symptoms should call their health care provider immediately.

Whitman County   01/15/2013   Flu Press Release

Whitman County Public Health issued a press release concerning the current flu season on 01/15/2013. To view this press release please click here...

Whitman County   01/09/2013   Flu Information

Over the last week multiple cases of influenza have been identified and treated at local clinics, urgent cares, and emergency rooms. Rapid testing has identified both A and B strains and state confirmation is pending.

Most cases have involved unvaccinated individuals but there have been cases in high risk individuals who were appropriately immunized.

Health care providers should review current testing and treatment recommendations outlined at the CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/index.htm.

For additional information, please click here...


Whitman County   10/15/2012   Meningitis Case Reported to Public Health

Whitman County Public Health was contact by Pullman Regional Hospital on Sunday, October 14, 2012 about a possible case of bacterial meningitis in a 19 year old student from Washington State University. 

Whitman County Public Health and Washington State University's Student Health have been working at treating and vaccinating all close contacts of the student.

For additional information, please click here...


Washington State Dept. of Ecology   09/21/2012    Air Quality Issues

From: Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Western WA has cleared out well under the stronger marine push and will stay that way today. Air quality in the Columbia Basin and the Palouse/ Spokane has been deteriorating very gradually over the last few days and is mostly in the "Unhealthy for sensitive groups" category this morning. Air in these areas may improve slightly but not hugely, Saturday evening through Sunday evening.

The areas of serious concern- located at the eastern foothills of the Cascades- continue to remain problematic. Air in Wenatchee has remained in the "Hazardous" category for several days now, with each day being a little worse than the previous. Cashmere and Entiat are in a similar situation, while Leavenworth, Ellensburg, the upper and lower Yakima Valley and Chelan have been recording Very Unhealthy conditions. This scenario is not expected to change much over the next few days.

The approach and passage of a low pressure system Friday night through Saturday evening gives rise to a small threat of dry lightning in the Washington Cascades mostly south of Lake Chelan. Given the dry fuels in the area, we can only pray that there wont be new fires for the already stretched firefighters to contend with.

Some cooler temperatures are on tap for eastern WA next week and this should help reduce fire activity, but the kind of soaking rain needed is a notable absentee from the forecast.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for much of eastern Washington:

Press Release:

Whitman County Public Health 9-21-2012

Whitman County Public Health-9-14-2012

Whitman County Public Health -Air Quality Advisory

Whitman County Public Health -Air Quality Concerns

Washington State Department of Ecology




Washington State Department of Health

Washington State Department of Ecology Air Monitoring Sites Washington Smoke Information  

Washington Tracking Network






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